Zhaozhou taught, “’The greatest way isn’t difficult if you don’t pick and choose.’ As soon as I speak, you’ll think, ‘That’s picking and choosing,’ or ‘That’s clear.’ But I don’t identify with clarity. Can you live like that?”
A student asked, “If you don’t identify with clarity, what do you live by?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you don’t know, why do you say that you don’t identify with clarity?”
“When you ask the question you already have it. Make your bow and step back.”
– Blue Cliff Record, Case 2
Everybody, every time, has its own difficulty and crisis. This is ours. We can trust our own lives that brought us here, and perhaps we have something to do here. And we don’t know what that is but we’ll find it as we keep walking. The thing about the meditation path is, I don’t have to think a lot about what’s mine to do. You just give yourself to the meditation, and it’s produced for you. It’s given to you. The path opens by itself, you know. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Talk with John Tarrant, recorded March 29 2020.
PZI Zen Online: Hanging Lanterns in the Autumn Valley with John Tarrant Roshi. The Valley Spirit holding us – the mother deep. A big moment in our time, post election. How to cope with Bad Emperors and accord with change. Also, What is my place in the mandala? Finding joy in the thusness of things in all circumstances. Not seeing the light is also the light. “What is medicine? Bring me something that is not medicine.” Bring me something that is not the light! As recorded Nov. 8, 2020.
PZI Zen Online – The pandemic alter the usual ways we choose. What is ‘picking’ and ‘choosing’? When does choice occur? When do I ‘not choose’ but say yes to life’s flow? David recounts many of life ‘yeses’ before thinking picking or choosing. How we find what we don’t think we are looking for.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Includes John’s intro and koan, a long meditation segment with Jordan McConnell on guitar. John gives the koan and other guidance throughout the meditation segment followed by a talk and comments. Closing bells, violin, & 4 vows with PZI Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher. As recorded March 29, 2020.